Stress happens when we don’t have clarity as to what will happen next. The pandemic was the extreme version of this; transforming the way we think about how work and life come together. Even though 52% of organisations have stepped up employee wellbeing support since the pandemic, there are still 76% of employees who report moderate-to-high levels of stress in the workplace (that’s really high).
To raise awareness of Stress Awareness month, and mental health in the workplace, we spoke with Mandana Ahmadi (a.k.a. Mani) on the first episode of Chesamel Unplugged, our brand-new podcast to empower business transformation through engaging conversations. Mani is a mental health expert and Founder of Alena, a personalised social anxiety app to help you increase confidence in just 4 weeks.
In this episode, we touch on:
- What Stress Awareness Month is
- The importance of addressing stress at work
- How to promote a healthy workplace culture
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The Importance of Stress Awareness Month
Stress can take both physical and emotional forms and it is a response to a challenging or demanding situation. Stress Awareness month has been addressing the negative impact of stress since 1992, whether it’s in or outside the workplace. Common causes of stress at work include workload, deadlines, interpersonal relationships, and organisational change.
We’ve all felt at least one of these before and every person reacts to stress differently. That’s why being open to discussions about stress and mental health are vital for an entire organisation, no matter the hierarchy.
Not discussing, coping with or working on anxiety and stress at work can reduce job satisfaction, and decrease an employee’s productivity. It will also affect interpersonal relationships, as well as the company’s progress. This is why employee wellbeing is important for every business to foster a healthy, supportive environment for growth.
How Is Alena Helping People To Gain Confidence
In the UK alone, 8 million people with mental health problems are unable to access care. Many, many more spend months on waiting lists. That’s why Alena was created.
After more than a decade of research into the brain, Mani used the emerging field of Computational Psychiatry to uncover the brain patterns that drive mental health challenges and deliver targeted treatment—all via your mobile. Mani believes that mental health conditions like social anxiety are treatable without human-to-human talk therapy.
Instead, Alena uses intuitive games to assess the four cognitive processes that perpetuate social anxiety. And the results have been outstanding. 72% of people who completed Alena’s program saw a significant improvement in symptoms in just 4 weeks. Traditional therapy often takes 10 to 15 weeks, with a 52% chance of improvement.
The Four Key Actionables From Talking With Mani
1. Have open conversations about mental health
This is incredibly important for fostering understanding, reducing stigma, and providing support. A few pieces of advice for leaders to adopt include using open-ended questions, respecting people’s boundaries, and leading by example.
2. It’s not about managers, it’s about leaders
The biggest job of a leader is to ensure people are taken care of and this comes from leading by example. If people are constantly thinking about work they will run out of steam. Respecting employees’ boundaries of work and rest are equally important.
3. Leaders should identify and manage their own stress
Experiment with different techniques and find a combination of strategies that work best for you. Prioritising your well-being will not only benefit you as a leader but also create a positive impact on your team and organisation as a whole.
4. Implement healthy cultures through actionables
This comes down to actions like promoting a work-life balance, providing growth and development opportunities, fostering open communication, and regularly evaluating and adjusting.
Remember, implementing a healthy culture that addresses stress and mental health in a supporting manner takes time and consistent effort. It requires commitment from leaders and the active participation of all employees. By taking these actionable steps, you can create an environment that supports employee well-being, growth, and collaboration, leading to a healthier and more productive workplace.
Always try to look out for people and services that are offering this kind of support, as this topic is extremely important and individuals need to be aware about their well-being in the workplace.
You can always visit Alena.com for some personalised support and mindfulness, as well as reach out to your company for support.
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